Paperwork is essential to any job but can sometimes become a pain to handle. Without proper organization, your files can quickly get messy, making it difficult to find vital documents when needed.
However, dealing with the paperwork doesn’t have to be complicated. With these seven tips and tricks, you can improve how you handle your documents and boost your productivity.
- Use Electronic Signatures Where Possible
Using electronic signatures wherever possible is an excellent way to reduce the amount of paperwork in your office. An electronic signature is a digital image that appears when a document is emailed or posted on a website. Businesses often request these signatures when signing contracts and other legal documents.
Creating an electronic signature doesn’t have to be difficult. With online tools like PDFSimpli, you can create and add an electronic signature for free to your documents in just a few clicks.
- Sort Documents by Type
Most offices deal with many different types of documents, including receipts, contracts, reports, invoices, and much more. Instead of keeping all these documents in the same pile, sorting them based on type would be best.
You can further categorize each document by creating subfolders. For example, rather than having a single folder for all clients, you can create a subfolder for each client. That way, you can quickly find what you’re looking for without digging through the whole stack.
- Arrange Your Documents Chronologically or Alphabetically
You probably have documents that you’ve time-stamped for future reference. After sorting your paperwork by type, you can further arrange them chronologically or alphabetically.
For instance, after creating subfolders for your clients, you can file their documents based on the date you received them, from the newest to the oldest. You could also organize these files based on how frequently you use them.
- Avoid Saving Unnecessary Documents
Not every paper you receive is worth saving. So, before filing anything, ask yourself if you’ll need it in the future. If you can answer yes, then create its folder.
Keeping every unnecessary document will only clutter your office and make it harder to find what you need. Crucial documents you should keep could include bank statements, tax returns, insurance documents, and legal documents.
- Store Important Documents in a Central Location
Once you’re finished organizing your documents, you need to find a place to store them safely. A filing cabinet is an excellent option for storing important papers, but it can take up a lot of space in your office.
Another option is storage boxes that you can store under your desk or on a shelf in your office. Storage boxes occupy less space than cabinets and are usually less expensive.
However, cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox are the most convenient way of storing documents. These services allow you to keep files online and access them from any computer with an Internet connection.
- Use Color Codes or Labels
Color codes can save you time and effort browsing your files. You can add a colored sticker to each folder to help you remember their contents at a glance. For instance, you could use a green sticker for client invoices and blue stickers for invoices.
In addition, you can label your files and folders with a header that will help you identify them quickly. Your labels can contain extra information about specific folder contents, such as dates, events, or titles.
- Organize Your Filing Space
Whether you use filing cabinets or storage boxes, you need to ensure that everything is well-organized and accessible. Ideally, it would help if you stored groups of related documents together in related folders.
Moreover, you could also consider investing in a file shelf to place on top of your desk. These shelves are great for keeping documents you frequently access within easy reach.
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